Absolution (The Protectors #1)

Title: Absolution
Author: Sloane Kennedy
Release Date: April 1st 2016
Genre(s):Contemporary, MMM
Page Count:358
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.3 stars out of 5

But what I felt most was the perfection of what these two men were giving me. And I knew in that moment that I would do anything to keep it. Anything. –Cole

After four years abroad, artist Jonas Davenport has come home to start building his dream of owning his own art studio and gallery. But just as he’s ready to put the darkness of his past behind him forever, it comes roaring back with a vengeance.

The only thing keeping ex-cop Mace Calhoun from eating his own gun after an unthinkable loss is his role in an underground syndicate that seeks to get justice for the innocent by taking the lives of the guilty. Ending the life of the young artist who committed unspeakable crimes against the most vulnerable of victims should have been the easiest thing in the world. So why can’t he bring himself to pull the trigger?

After years of fighting in an endless, soul-sucking war, Navy SEAL Cole Bridgerton has come home to fight another battle – dealing with the discovery that the younger sister who ran away from home eight years earlier is lost to him forever. He needs answers and the only person who can give them to him is a young man struggling to put his life back together. But he never expected to feel something more for the haunted artist.

Cole and Mace. One lives by the rules, the other makes his own. One seeks justice through the law while the other seeks it with his gun. Two men, one light, one dark, will find themselves and each other when they’re forced to stand side by side to protect Jonas from an unseen evil that will stop at nothing to silence the young artist forever.

But each man’s scars run deep and even the strength of three may not be enough to save them…

Note: This book contains M/M/M sexual content and is intended for mature audiences.

Trigger Warning: This book contains references to childhood sexual abuse.

***This is Book 1 in the series, but can be read as a stand-alone story – no cliffhangers.***

I didn’t have high expectations when I picked this up. Sloane Kennedy is a new to me author and, although I love MMM, it doesnt’t work for me very often. Plus, the blurb sounded a little complicated. Well, joke’s on me. Absolution is one of the best MMM books I ‘ve read.


Mace, Jonas and Cole are very different characters, and I loved that. Mace is the anti-hero who seeks revenge and justice, but fell in love with his target. Jonas has been through the unthinkable, but he’s still kind and generous. Cole is more clean cut; due to his military background he combines Mace’s hard edges with Jonas’s soft side.

But they have one thing in common. They can’t find absolution.


Their pasts are differrent as well, but at the same time they ‘re somewhat intertwined, and soon they find themselves on the run.

What I liked the most is that it’s always the three of them together from the beginning. There’s never an odd man out and nobody ever feels left out.

“Cole’s eyes shifted from me to Jonas and I felt an unreasonable surge of jealousy. Only problem was, I wasn’t sure which man I was actually jealous of.
“It’s the same, if you’re wondering,”[…] “What I feel for you. It’s just as strong as what I feel for Jonas. I wouldn’t be able to choose between you. I won’t,” he added firmly.

There is no gratuitous sex here. In fact, it is almost non-existent in the first half of the book, although it’s loaded with sexual tension. The second half makes up for it and it’s scorching!

The mystery is pretty gripping and every time I thought I had a clue as to what was hapenning, a surprise was waiting for me.

Admittedly, the progression from lust to love was a little rushed. The weird thing is that, although in my mind it was insta-love, it never felt that way. Maybe because the connection between them felt so strong, or that they three of them really complemented each other. Whatever the case, it worked for me.


My only niggle is that, sometimes, their internal monologues almost got repetitive and dragged the story out a little bit.

Overall, this was a great book and I’m glad I gave it a chance. I’m looking forward to Ronan’s story.

Note that, although not on page, there are references to childhood sexual abuse.

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